i remember woolco, but not tube test machines... haha
i guess repairs have always been expensive, but tv's have gotten a lot cheaper since the days of CRT.
that being said, if my f8500 stopped working, i'd look into having it repaired right now. just because there's nothing cheap that could replace it. if my bedroom lcd died, it'd be a definite throwaway.
since we're sharing repair stories, the last thing i had repaired was a cd player for my car. i bought it used for about 100bux, after a year it stopped working. there was a shop that did free estimates so we took it in just to see. my dad ended up paying to get it repaired for me as a bday present, which made it even harder. on one hand i was pissed because he spent about 120bux to fix it, and i'd been looking at one for 200 that was so much better(and new) and now i couldn't buy it, on the other hand i felt super guilty cause he obviously thought he was doing something REALLY nice for me. anyway, that experience stuck with me, and now i generally don't have anything fixed unless i can diy it.
Displays: Samsung PN64F8500/JVC X35
AVR: Pioneer VSX-1018AH, 5.1 audio
Sources: HTPC(Mediabrowser), PS3, XBOX360, Wii, Sony DVP-CX995V
Control: Harmony One